The Picture Hat

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, was one of the fashion icons of her day. One of the most popular fashions she launched during her “career” was known as “The Picture Hat”. In 1783, Thomas Gainsborough painted a portrait of Georgiana wearing a black, wide-brimmed hat decorated with a sash over the crown and feathers she had designed herself. When the picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy, the hat became so popular that every woman who could afford it rushed to her milliner to order the “picture hat”. The popularity of the “picture hat” continued well into the Victorian and Edwardian eras but it was now called the “Gainsborough Hat”. Here are a few examples:

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